This post is brought to you by Dr Pepper Snapple Group and The Motherhood.
I am a lifelong Dr Pepper fan. It is, without question, my favorite soda, ever. So I jumped at the opportunity to talk with the folks at Dr Pepper Snapple Group. I got a whole lot of information — which I’m going to try to condense and share with you.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group sells more than 50 brands of carbonated soft drinks, teas, juices, mixers, and other premium beverages. Of their 14 biggest brands, 13 of them rank #1 or #2 in their category. They’re responsible for six of the 10 non-cola soft drink brands.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group has some exciting stuff in store for next year. For instance, they’re focused on balance. By balance, they mean “calories in, calories out.” Half of their current projects are focused on “calories in,” reducing calories, smaller portions, and improved nutrition. And DPS Group is supporting local and national programs that encourage active lifestyles.
As part of their commitment to “calories in,” Dr Pepper Snapple Group voluntarily removed full-calorie beverages from schools, effectively reducing the calories in their beverage shipments to schools by 90%. They also are one of the beverage companies responsible for the Clear on Calories Initiative, which consists of featuring calorie counts on the fronts of all beverage containers.
As part of the “calories out” side of the balance equation, DPS Group recognizes the importance of a commitment to active play and the physical activity deficit in this country. Two-thirds of children in this country get less than an hour of play each day. There’s a host of reasons for that.
- Only 1 in 5 children live near a park
- Kids are busier; on average, they have 12 fewer hours of free time each week
- Kids spend their free time differently; 8- to 18-year-olds spend roughly 7.5 hours on media daily
- Disadvantaged city youth participate in sports and fitness at a rate 40% less than their counterparts
As a result, along with poor eating and drinking habits, obesity rates in children have tripled. That’s why Dr Pepper Snapple Group is pretty proud of their Let’s Play initiative, which they launched in 2011. Since then, they’ve committed $26 million to programs that encourage fit and active lifestyles. This year alone, Let’s Play will award more than 900 grants around the country and lead 10 playground build projects!
Let’s Play is a coordinated effort between DPS Group and their partners, KaBOOM! and Good Sports. KaBOOM! is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children get the necessary balance of active play in their lives. Good Sports provides athletic equipment, footwear, and apparel to disadvantaged youth.
So far, Let’s Play is responsible for the construction or renovation of more than 2,000 playgrounds and for helping more than 5 million children play. More than 2,300 employees of Dr Pepper Snapple Group have volunteered more than 18,000 hours to these playground projects!
Dr Pepper Snapple Group continues to innovate, while paying close attention to important factors such as value, responsible and environmentally friendly manufacturing, convenient packaging, health benefits, and, of course, taste. They strive to maintain a balance among those factors so they can put the best possible products on the market. Scientists, engineers, and specialists do research and development at four different locations: Plano, Texas (their headquarters), St. Louis, Missouri, Irving, Texas, and Mexico City.
I’m pretty excited about one of the innovations that the folks at DPS Group have been testing, naturally sweetened versions of Dr Pepper, 7UP, and Canada Dry. Those products are sweetened with a blend of stevia and sugar and have only 60 calories per 12-ounce serving. Sweet! (You know what I mean.)
Did you know that Dr Pepper is the oldest major soft drink in America? It was introduced in 1885 in Waco, Texas. I should mention that I am intentionally omitting the period in “Dr” because that’s the trademarked name. So, if you were itching to let me know that you spotted a punctuation issue — ha! It’s supposed to be that way!
But let’s get back to Dr Pepper. I’ve tried to figure out why Dr Pepper is called Dr Pepper, to no avail. Sorry, I have no answers for you on that front. The soda is known for its unique blend of 23 flavors — and only two people at Dr Pepper Snapple Group know that formula! Dr Pepper enjoys an extremely loyal fan base. (Hint: Check out Pinterest for Dr Pepper — you will be pleasantly surprised!) It is #1 in its flavor category and the #2 overall flavored carbonated soft drink in the United States.
Snapple, as you probably know, is a leading reading-to-drink tea in the U.S. It was founded in Brooklyn in 1972. To date, there have been more than — get ready for it — 250 flavors of Snapple! There is a great selection of full calorie, low-calorie, and no-calorie Snapple options. Recently, they’ve introduced Diet Half & Half, which is half lemonade and half iced tea, as well as lightly sweetened white teas, which have 80 calories per bottle. This year, they’ve been testing a straight up tea — with no other flavors — that has a touch of sugar and only 80 calories per bottle.
There’s a long list of other drinks that we can thank Dr Pepper Snapple Group for — like Hawaiian Punch, Mott’s, Sunkist, and Yoo Hoo (I love Yoo Hoo!), to name a few.